Have you ever used a Brillo steel wool scouring pad? I’m guessing you have.
You can’t see the soap within in while it’s dry, but once you get it wet, there is plenty of cleaning power in it. There may even be a box of these pads sitting under your kitchen sink right now.
Like so many items, steel wool has taken on added dimensions in the preparedness arena. Those who like to prepare for an uncertain future know that making multiple uses out of common, ordinary materials will help them survive whatever crisis might be lurking just around the corner.
Here are eight of those uses for inexpensive steel wool (minus the soap), some of which you may have never considered before. You can find steel wool in home centers and hardware stores. And you can save money by buying it in bulk.
- Start a fire. By touching the terminals of a 9-volt battery to a wad of steel wool, you can start a fire.
- Clean garden tools. Unless you have clean dirt in your yard, garden tools will always get dirty. And if they’re not cleaned promptly, that dirt will stick. Damp steel wool does a great job of cleaning tools. Make sure to dry those tools afterward so they don’t rust.
- Sharpen scissors. You’ve heard of self-cleaning, right? This is self-sharpening. Cut through a piece of steel wool on a regular basis with a scissors, and those scissors will stay sharp.
- Keep rodents at bay. Mice are adept at squeezing through gaps and crevices around baseboards, pipes and other small entryways to your home. But if you pack some steel wool into those small holes, which mice do not like, and then seal them with duct tape, the rodents will go somewhere else.
- Tighten screws. Over time, the holes in which screws have been inserted can widen. Take the screw out, wrap some steel wool around it and place it back into the hole, where it will fit better.
- Wipe out heel marks. Rubber-soled shoes are very comfortable, but they can leave smudges on floors. Rub the area with a damp steel wool pad, then wipe it clean with a damp sponge. You can even use damp steel wool to clean the rubber portions of tennis shoes.
- Remove rust. Due to outdoor moisture, patio furniture and railings become rusted over time. Rubbing steel wool on them can get rid of it while simultaneously roughing the surface in advance of painting. It also works to brighten kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
- Erase unwanted artwork. If you have children or grandchildren, it’s likely that at least one of them has mistaken your walls for a coloring book. Not to worry. Gently rub damp steel wool – in one direction only – on your little Picasso’s creation until it goes away.
Steel wool isn’t for everything you do, including drying off after a shower. That would not be pleasant. But there are a boatload of ways to use it in and around your home besides cleaning pots and pans.